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Linking the Customer Experience to the Business Model

I'm excited about the possibilities for a company when they do customer experience mapping and link it to the business model. A customer experience map is when you lay out the path a customer takes from discovery of their need all the way through usage of your product or service; even the final stage where they draw conclusions about it (which drives repeat purchase, positive relationships, good word of mouth, etc.). Done right, companies can focus key parts of their business model (e.g., strategies, processes, even employee jobs) to each stage of the customer experience map.

That's pretty powerful when you consider the potential gains to companies that align their business model to the customer experience. For example, a CPG firm can focus their marketing spend to more effectively influence consumers at each critical stage of the consumer experience (e.g., discovery, investigating, arranging, shopping, transacting, usage...). That can mean a huge increase in the impact of the marketing spend.  But beyond the marketing spend, a properly linked customer experience map will connect R&D, supply chain, service, and other parts of the business model, too.

Customer experience mapping can also significantly impact results for small businesses in the service industry. With a well designed customer experience map, businesses can align their work force to deliver a superior customer experience and even align the performance management system to reinforce the right behaviors from employees. This is true whether employees are customer-facing or in the back room. Think of the impact to restaurants, for example. The person waiting the table has an obvious impact on the customer experience. But the person washing the dishes in the back room has an impact as well!

The approach to developing the customer experience map differs according to business size, type, industry, target, intended usage, and a few other variables. But one thing is for sure, done right, the customer experience map effectively linked to the business model will drive better overall results.

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